U.S. Congress more Christian than America -survey

The U.S. Congress is overwhelmingly more Christian than the rest of the country, and the number of Americans who identify as Christians continues to drop, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on Tuesday.

(REUTERS / Larry Downing)U.S. President Barack Obama receives a standing ovation as he addresses a Joint Session of Congress inside the chamber of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington September 8, 2011.

In the new U.S. House and Senate, nine out of 10 claim they are Christian, based on the Pew Research Center survey. Compared with the number of Americans who describe themselves as belonging to the Christian faith, the number of Christians who are part of Congress is significantly higher.

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New York Rep. Lee Zeldin and Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff --- both Jewish --- are the only non-Christian Republican lawmakers this year. The remaining 291 Republicans in Congress describe themselves as Christian.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are 80 percent Christian. The group, which consists of 242 members of Congress, includes 28 Jews, three Hindus, three Buddhists, two Muslims and one Unitarian Universalist.

The Atlantic points out that the proportion of Christians in U.S. Congress has remained the same for more than 50 years. However, a major change has been observed in the U.S. population. As of now, only 71 percent of adults in the country say that they're Christians.

A Pew Research Center spokeswoman said the number of Christians in America continues to slide down. From the early 1970s to the 90s, 90 percent of Americans said they were Christian, but that figure dropped to about 80 percent when the year 2000 came in, USA Today reports.

Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated in Congress are extremely underrepresented, the Atlantic says. The publication attributes this phenomenon mainly to their refusal to vote.

The Public Religion Research Institute has found out that the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans went up from 14 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2014, and yet those who voted under this group only had a 3 percent increase.

In light of this perceived "crisis of representation," the Atlantic urged religiously unaffiliated Americans to start voting if they are so bothered by the small space that they occupy in Congress.

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